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Council, municipality asking local internet providers to apply to Rapid Response Stream

The municipality of West Nipissing is asking local internet providers to apply for the Universal Broadband Fund(UBF) Rapid Response Stream (RRS).

The RRS includes $150 million set aside by the federal government, to help local telecom companies in Northern Ontario address immediate connectivity needs in our area.

The UBF’s goal is to increase the number of Canadian households with access to adequate internet services as Canadians work, learn, and socialize from home.

The deadline to apply is January 15, 2021.

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The government says applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis and selected as they are received.

In early November when the UBF was announced, Maryam Monsef, Minister of Rural Economic Development, said that the competition for the service is expected to be intense, and those who apply to the RRS and meet the pre-conditions for approval, will know in a matter of days.

Marc Serré, Nickel Belt MP said he was pleased the cabinet heard people across Canada, but more importantly across Northern Ontario.

“Looking at West Nipissing for example, getting better high-speed internet is so important. Not only is it attracting small business, worker’s industry, but it also gives another reason for folks from southern Ontario to move to this beautiful municipality that has so much to offer.”

Serré adds that the government is looking at private sector partners to continuing internet enhancements in River Valley, Field, Kipling, Verner, Lavigne, Saint Charles etc.

“Those are the areas of the riding that I’m focused on for this. We want the smaller telecom companies in the private sector to apply to the rapid response funding. It’s the first time ever that federal grants are going to these small, private telecom companies and that’s important.”

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